New apps help simplify T1D management
Tidepool™—a JDRF-supported nonprofit committed to reducing the burden of type 1 diabetes (T1D)—has received a White House Champion of Change Precision Medicine Award for its work to develop innovative, open-source software and mobile phone apps that help people with T1D better manage the disease. The technologies will provide tools that allow users to aggregate all of their disparate information onto one platform, monitor and share the data in real time, and use it to make crucial care decisions.
Tidepool was started in 2013 by CEO and Founder Howard Look and a collective of tech-savvy parents of who were desperate for a way to help their kids better manage T1D. They believed a software platform capable of integrating and sharing data that lived separately on continuous glucose monitors (GCMSs) and insulin pumps would be a huge step in the right direction. The group also wanted to make the data actionable by providing historical information about how an individual user’s body reacted to a specific food the last time it was eaten, allowing the opportunity to better plan for a particular food. What resulted was the creation of a universal device uploader (a device-agnostic tool that makes it easier to access and integrate data from various T1D devices) and several planned apps, including Blip and Nutshell.
JDRF supported Tidepool’s development of the uploader, and recently awarded a second grant to help develop Nutshell. This technology will make it much easier to calculate future bolus doses for specific foods.
Currently, the uploader and Blip are being beta-tested by about 100 people, and the response has been very encouraging. Kevin Mountain’s daughter was diagnosed with T1D when she was 2. When she first started using an insulin pump and CGM, “it was really hard to upload the data,” said Mountain. “I had a Mac and the devices only worked with PCs.” Now he uses the uploader and Blip to monitor his daughter’s information, and he said it couldn’t be simpler. “All the information we need is in the cloud, and we can track CGM results, finger-stick tests, basal and bolus doses.” The information is easy to share with his daughter’s doctor so they can track her progress together, he added.
Tidepool expects to make the uploader and Blip available for public beta testing within a few months and then for release to the general public. “We couldn’t have developed the uploader without JDRF’s help,” said Look. “It enabled us to build something that is a key step in liberating data in diabetes devices so people can use the data. Now, JDRF is helping us take the next step with Nutshell.”